GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon issue an order preventing the sale of Juul electronic cigarettes.
The Wall Street Journal reports the ban comes after a two-year review.
Vicki Kavanaugh, a member of the West Michigan-based talksooner.org team, said the order would send a message about the dangers of the devices, especially to children.
“Nicotine is a very addictive drug so I think it’s a very positive step that the FDA has decided to make this move,” Kavanaugh said.
E-cigarettes have been a concern for years and doctors are encouraged the FDA is taking a closer look at the devices.
“Estimates are that 20% of our high school youth are vaping,” Kavanaugh said. “I think it has been a long-time coming. I think it’s a very important step.”
Dr. Shelley Schmidt, a pulmonologist with Spectrum Health, said many adult patients she treats started vaping in their teens and suffer from serious health problems.
“We see everything from increasing cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, worsening asthma symptoms an inability to perform typical sports or exercise tolerance all the way up to lung inflammation and lung inflammation that can be so severe to become life-threatening requiring life support,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the devices were being used to get a new generation addicted.
“It’s the big tobacco playbook that’s been used for decades being used again by a new product,” Schmidt said.
She said the best approach is to stop the problem before it develops into a lifelong habit.
“Especially when they’re younger and they first get chest tightness or shortness of breath quitting, it can handle most of the issue but if we get to a point where we are having recuring infections worsening asthma then patients really need to see a physician,” Schmidt said.
Groups like talksooner.org think a ban on Juul alone does not go far enough.
“Our youth have moved on to disposable e-cigs so I think that would be the next thing that we need to work on,” Schmidt said.
In a statement released to News 8 Thursday, Juul disagreed with the FDA’s findings:
“We respectfully disagree with the FDA’s findings and decision and continue to believe we have provided sufficient information and data based on high-quality research to address all issues raised by the agency.
“In our applications, which we submitted over two years ago, we believe that we appropriately characterized the toxicological profile of JUUL products, including comparisons to combustible cigarettes and other vapor products, and believe this data, along with the totality of the evidence, meets the statutory standard of being “appropriate for the protection of the public health.
“We intend to seek a stay and are exploring all of our options under the FDA’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator. We remain committed to doing all in our power to continue serving the millions of American adult smokers who have successfully used our products to transition away from combustible cigarettes, which remain available on market shelves nationwide.”Juul Labs chief regulatory officer Joe Murillo
An announcement on the ban of Juul devices is expected within the next several days.